Next year's Snapdragon 865 chip could come in 4G and 5G versions

Qualcomm Snapdragon
Image credit: Qualcomm

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is powering some of the best phones on the market in 2019, but we're already hearing rumors about what the Snapdragon 865 might bring with it – particular in terms of 5G.

According to a tweet from Roland Quandt at WinFuture and a report from GizChina, there could be a version of the flagship chipset without integrated 5G, giving manufacturers more flexibility.

Based on what we've heard so far from Qualcomm, a 5G modem is supposedly going to be integrated into the Snapdragon 865, so everything you need to get connected to next-gen speeds will come built in.

While that's still going to happen as far as we know, a variation without the extra 5G could be used in markets where the cellular tech isn't available, to keep prices down.

To 5G or not to 5G

With phones including the Samsung Galaxy S10 now available in 5G editions, consumers can now get their hands on 5G smartphones for the first time.

The infrastructure required to support 5G is still in the early stages of rolling out, however: in countries where it is available, you can only pick it up on certain networks in certain cities.

That situation will of course improve over time, but it sounds as though Qualcomm could decide to announce the Snapdragon 865 with and without an integrated 5G modem. We should find out later this year.

Having 5G integrated on at least one Snapdragon 865 model would give manufacturers extra room for other components, and maybe even a bigger battery.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.